12-50 consideration

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by TNcasual, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    So I would really like the Olympus 60mm macro, but I don't think I will be able to get the funds together for it anytime soon. I would also like to get something really wide, and bright.

    That brings me to the 12-50 lens. It is not a true macro, but people say it does close-focus well for a pseudo-macro. It is not bright, but is pretty wide. The advantage is that it can be found for ~$200 or less, used.

    Would it be a good choice to replace my 14-42 II with a 12-50?

    Thanks for the suggestions.
  2. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Are you really into macro or you just want to try it? You can use extension tubes for simple macro with good results. Or you could try the MCON-P01 with the 40-150 or the Raynox.

    The 12-50 has the obvious advantages: half macro, the 12mm and 50mm, weather sealing, etc. The only downside could be the size. IQ should not be much different so it depends on what you are after. For 100$ difference is not bad.

    Other 12mm alternatives are expensive or without AF.
  3. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Hmm.... I would like to get nice images of flowers, fungus and insects. Right now, I have nothing that works really well for this. I didn't really thing about extension tubes for convertors. I will have to do some research.
  4. Youngjun

    Youngjun Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    You've got a couple of Nikon 50mm primes in your gear list. Using a set of manual extension tubes with those will get you past 1:1 for $15 or less. I think I paid like $9 + shipping for mine.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I will look into extension tubes. I was hoping for some autofocus, though. I do well enough with manual legacy lenses, but I would like to work on my native AF lens collection.
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    That's a fair point, but I think you'll find that macro is one of those areas (like landscape, or astrophotography, but in an entirely different way) where MF is in many ways preferable to AF. I wouldn't sweat it, especially on a budget.
  8. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Really wide and really bright is going to limit you a little - there's a 20mm F/2 OM system macro you could use, I guess? Although that seems to have a bit of a complicated setup and extremely high magnification.

    How wide is wide and how bright is bright? What are you shooting that is big enough to need a wide angle lens but shallow enough to be usable at <F8 or so?
  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Pretty much any subject not extremely near to the camera

    On a 4/3 sensor, at 12mm f2, you can have everything from 2.5m to infinity in focus by focusing at about 5m hyperfocal.
    If there were a 12mm f1.4, you could have everything from 3.3m to infinity in focus by focusing at about 7m hyperfocal.

    The same would apply even on FF at 24mm f4 and 24mm f2.8, respectively

    You don't need to stop down wide angles for Deep DOF, certainly not to f8, unless you need everything from arm's length to infinity in focus.
  10. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    I understand, but the OP seems to want to use this for flower and insect macro.
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I think you are mixing two separate goals they were hoping a single lens like the 12-50 could fill.
  12. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I think there is a little confusion. I wasn't looking for a bright, wide lens for macro. I am interested in a bright, wide lens and a macro lens. It seemed to me that the 12-50 gets me halfway there on both. It would be a compromise, certainly. I was looking for suggestions on if it would work well enough.
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Yeah, that's what I thought.

    I think the answer to that question is that yes, it could. I suggested macro tubes since it sounded like you were on a tight budget and that gets you there for the cost of a cheap lunch. But if you did swap out your 14-42 for a 12-50, you'd get similar image quality with about 20% wider FOV on the wide end and the ability to go to about 1:2 in Macro mode.

    Robin Wong has a lot of macro and street samples from that lens on his blog.
  14. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    When I bought my EM5 Mk.II yesterday, I had the chance to buy it as a kit with the 12-50 for less than $200 more. About $180 with the exchange rate here in Korea.

    I declined and bought the body only. I'm not a fan of variable aperture zooms. Even at the wide end, it's still f3.5 and by the time you get to the long end it becomes f6.3. Even for $180 brand new, I knew it wouldn't be a lens I'd be satisfied with and wouldn't get much use and for me, that's money wasted. This isn't to say it's a bad lens by any means, but just not the right lens for me.

    If I was into macro, I'd go ahead and buy the O60/2.8 which is a fantastic macro lens, not just for m43 but for any system. For a fast wide lens, go with the O12/2. Yes, both options cost more but I view lenses as investments whereas bodies are disposable as technology advances.
  15. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    I've bought the 12-50mm long time ago for the same reasons as you: to be able to get 12mm wide and a (pseudo) Macro lens at the same time, for a small amount of money.
    I was lucky to get a mint used copy very cheap that served me well.
    Later I've picked up the Oly 60mm Macro and a used Oly 9-18, but I've never get rid of the 12-50 because it's such a versatile lens and much better than most people say.
    I can only recommend that lens if you'r on a budget.
  16. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Thanks. That is exactly what I was wondering.

    I will probably be on the lookout for a cheap used one. I will still look into the converters or extension tubes, as well.
  17. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    You're right about MF. However, if you're holding the camera in one hand and the flash in another hand, you may have to use AF creatively. Robin Wong gets great macro shots using this kind of technique. http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2012/09/olympus-mzuiko-60mm-f28-macro-review.html

    Here's Robin using the 12-50 for macro shots. http://robinwong.blogspot.com/2011/12/olympus-mzuiko-12-50mm-f35-63-review.html

    Maybe one could use a special flash bracket that will hold your flash at the right place, or grow another arm. Sometimes, I wish I had Doc Ock arms. :) 
  18. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Kenko tubes should have AF but cost much more. Many use MF some use AF for macro. Here is an AF shooter: http://beingmark.com/macro-illustrated/
    With Raynox 150 or 250 of MPCON-01 you can use AF.

    The biggest problem with extension tubes is that you loose far distance focusing, I do not know exactly how much. So if you see a cat and then a ladybug you have to stop and "change lens". Pluggable adapters on the front of the lens are a little more handy.

    I bought the Oly 60/2.8 as a second lens and I found out that shooting around 1:1 magnification is hard. You have to go really close to the subject and the DoF is insane. So you stop down and often you'll need a flash. I know, it just take some practice and patience but I'd be probably happy with a 0.3 or 0.5.
    I do not want to dissuade you from doing macro, just to try it before spending the high price of a specialized macro lens. I'm talking about the 60 here, not the 12-50.
  19. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    The MCON-P01 is actually a great idea and it works on both of his Olympus lenses.

    Not only that, but you are locked into a very small window of focusing distances. Maybe you put too much extension on and now you can't even fit the butterfly in the frame. It's a bit of a guessing game.

    I actually agree with this. 1:1 is HARD to do right. Even a small breeze can throw your subject completely out of the DOF. I think I'd rather the 60mm macro was a 60mm f2 with 1:2. I think that's more in line with what a general photographer would need for casual macro and faster aperture makes it a better portrait/action prime, too. For serious Macro, they probably want a longer lens anyway.
  20. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    I originally bought an EM5 with the 12-50 as the kit lens. It worked OK for close-ups, but couldn't get as close as I wanted for some subjects. I bought the 60 f2.8 later because I figured it could serve as a portrait lens as well as for macros, though I admit I haven't used it as much as I'd like. My most often used lens is my 12-40 Pro, which gets decently close, though hardly macro territory. I haven't mastered macro shooting. Lots to learn.
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